Women of Valor


Takes in Sister's Children

Rebecca Gratz, 1781 - 1869

"I love children—and childrens talk—their own words expressing their own thoughts goes quicker to my heart than anything wiser that is said for them."

Gratz adored her nieces and nephews and thought, "children are very good society. " She was particularly close to her sister Rachel's six children and considered them her, "favorite toys." In 1823, when Rachel died in childbirth, Gratz resigned from the Female Association's board and brought the children home to live with her. In 1825, the children's father, Solomon Moses, bought a house across the street from the Gratz family home and took the older children back to live with him. Nevertheless Gratz continued to help raise the children, and became a second mother to her nieces and nephews.

  1. "I love children..." From a letter from Rebecca Gratz to Maria Gist Gratz, March 12, 1826. From Letters of Rebecca Gratz, edited by David Philipson. (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1929)83.
  2. "children are very good society" From a letter from Rebecca Gratz to Maria Fenno Hoffman, March 25, 1813 Gratz Family Papers, p8. Courtesy of The American Jewish Historical Society, Waltham MA & New York, NY.
  3. "favorite toys" From a letter from Rebecca Gratz to Maria Fenno Hoffman, ca. 1815,Rebecca Gratz Papers, Manuscript Collection no. 236. Courtesy of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center at the American Jewish Archives Cincinnati Campus, Hebew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, OH.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Women of Valor - Rebecca Gratz - Takes in Sister's Children." (Viewed on April 17, 2014) <http://jwa.org/womenofvalor/gratz/takes-in-sisters-children>.